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Teaching Of Islam On Wealth And Poverty Religion Essay

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Wealth is khayr. Khayr in Arabic means goodness. This is because when a person has wealth he can achieve a good standard of living. So because khayr is good it should be earned in a proper way. And then also after earning it in a proper way we should spend it in a good way too.

Wealth is given by Allah. It is given to the people as a gift from the almighty. The fact that it has been given to us by Allah shows that we should not be stingy and give it to other people as well. One way of sharing it is to give it out in the path of Allah to build mosques or giving it to the poor. Also wealth could be given in lillah (in the way of Allah.) This form of lillah and sadqa is not compulsory but it is a way to please Allah. Also it comes in the Quran about spending in the way of Allah:

"Those who spend in charity with their goods

By night and day, in secret ad public

Have reward with their lord." Surah 2:274

A major principle of Islam is the belief that all things belong to Allah and that wealth is only held by human beings in trust. Life is a test in which one has the freedom of choice and responsibility. The test for the poor is to have patience and earn a living by lawful means. This will be rewarded be Allah. The test for the rich is greater. It involves realizing that wealth is a gift which must be used for doing good and sharing with the poor.

Also Islam's teaching is that money should not be kept to a person himself. This is because Allah has given us the wealth and is the sustainer and so we should spend it in the way that Allah wants. It says in the Quran about the people who keep their money to themselves that a serpent would be around their neck on the Day of Judgment.

Islam also teaches that people should not gamble. Gambling is mentioned in the Quran, alongside drinking alcohol as an abomination, a sin, and a grave harm to mankind. It was made clear that prosperity does not come through gambling. That gambling, among many other things, causes families to rupture, societies to suffer, and the economy to weaken, damaging and tarnishing the ethical foundation of any decent society.

"O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling,

sacrificing to stones, and (divination by) arrows,

Are an abomination- of Satan's handwork:

Eschew such (abomination), that you may prosper." Surah 5:90

Islam also teaches that riba should not be taken. Al-riba as it is used in the Arabic language means to excess or increase. In the Islamic vocabulary interest means unproblematic profit or that profit which comes free from compensation or that extra earning obtained that is free of substitute. The reason for this is that this makes the poor even more poor and the rich even more rich. The prophet (p.b.u.h) has also cursed the devourer of usury, its payer, its scribe and its two witnesses. He also said that they were equal (in sin). Allah has also said about interest that:

"Allah will deprive usury of all blessing,

And will give increase for deeds of charity,

For he does not love any ungrateful sinner."

Zakah is a portion of one's wealth that must be given to the poor or to other specified causes. The word "zakah" comes from the verb meaning to purify or cleanse. It is the third Pillar of Islam and is obligatory for all those who are financially able. The most important idea behind zakah is that all the wealth that a person has does not belong to them, it all belongs to Allah, and therefore, everyone who is in need should have a share of it. Zakat which is giving as charity a part of your wealth, it is a financial act of worship; it is due on the wealth kept in possession for one year. A certain percentage is taken from every kind of property to be given out to the poor to enable them to meet their needs. The Zakah fulfils the Poor's needs, and purifies the donors from egocentricity, a natural tendency in men.

Zakah is dispersed among 8 types of people:

Fakir - One who has neither material possessions nor means of livelihood.

Miskin - One with insufficient means of livelihood to meet basic needs.

Amil - Workers associated with the collection and distribution of Zakah.

Muallafathul Quloob - One who converts to Islam. Literally those hearts are softened. Some scholars claim this also refers to poor non-Muslims who do not have enmity towards Muslims.

Riqab - One who wants to free himself from bondage or the shackles of slavery.

Gharmin - One who is in debt (money borrowed to meet basic, halal payments).

Fisabillillah - Literal meaning 'In the way of God', but it is used for Jihad.

Ibnus Sabil - One who is stranded in journey.

Zakah for Sheep and Goats

The Nisab when Zakah becomes relevant is forty animals which are more than twelve months old. There is no Zakah if the number is less than forty.

Number

Zakah

1 year old

40 - 120

1 animal

121 - 200

2 animals

201 - 399

3 animals

400

4 animals

Table 1: Zakah for Sheep and Goats.

Thereafter for each supplementary hundred, one sheep that is one year old must be specified as Zakah.

The Nisab when Zakah becomes applicable is thirty animals. There is no Zakah if the number is less than thirty.

Number

Zakah

1 year old

2 year old

30 - 39

1 animal

 

40 - 59

 

1 animal

60 - 69

2 animals

 

Table2: Zakah for Cattle and Water Buffaloes.

 

Thereafter, in every thirty animals, one 1-year-old animal should be given; and in every forty, a 2-year-old animal ought to be given as Zakah.

Number

Zakah

1 year old

2 year old

70

1 animal

1 animal

80

 

2 animal

90

3 animals

 

100

2 animals

1 animal

110

1 animal

2 animals

120

4 animals or 3 animals

Table 3: Zakah for Cattle and Water Buffaloes.

 

   Islam's teaching on poverty is that when a person is poor he should not beg. Islam also teaches that the rich must help the poor. The poor then have to try and earn a living for their own selves. There was an incident that a man came to the prophet for money. The prophet then showed him how to cut wood then told him to go and sell it.

Q.2.Why is there a need for world development?

There are 3 types of countries in the respect of development levels.

1) Developed countries- These are the countries which are rich.

E.g.: USA and the western Europe etc.

2) Developing Countries- These are the countries which are becoming richer in wealth and economics.

E.g. Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia etc.

3) Less developed countries- These are the countries which are poor and have people starving.

E.g. Sudan, Bangladesh, Mali etc.

Root causes to poverty and why there is a lack of world development in the 3rd world countries.

One main root cause of poverty in the 3rd world countries is war. This is because when there is a war this causes a lot of damage and destruction. As when a single bomb is dropped it can kill people as well as damage the land and cause the crops not to grow too. This dropping of a bomb can cause these crops not to grow for a few years at least. Also war can undermine countries. It is a fact that 80% of twenty poor countries have at least had one war in the past 15 years.

Another reason for world poverty and lack of world development is shortage of food and hunger. Because 20% of the 3rd world countries have a lack of food therefore this has caused many civil wars as in Africa. Also they then go as live as refugees in other countries.

Another reason for world poverty and lack of world development are natural disasters. For example Bangladesh has floods every year.

The key to development in the 3rd world countries lies in the emphasis on exports and free trade.

America, in the past 20 years, has spent a lot on development in the 3rd world countries.

Countries can also fight against the lack of world development in the 3rd world countries by doing justice in trade, when they deal with the LCD countries.

Probably the only way that less developed countries make enough cash for their debts is to grow cash crops. This is to grow crops and sell them rather than consumption.

An example of:

LCD in Asia- Bangladesh

LCD in South America- Bolivia

"Less developed countries"-This is a more correct term to use as poverty is seen as a very complex issue in the world.

Q.3 Analyze and explain the work of one Muslim organization working for world development.

The Islamic organization I have chosen to analyze is Muslim Hands. This organization was first established in Pakistan. It has been since 1993. The organization is situated in Muzafarabad, Pakistan.

The Muslim Hands group has been helping people all over Pakistan. They have done this for many years. They have been helping the Pakistani population by setting up water pumps. They also supply the poor and needy with clothes, food etc.

They also helped many people in major crises', and also in many difficulties, which the people of the whole country are suffering from.

During the Pakistan earthquake the volunteers and workers for Muslim Hands were situated in the area of the earth quake helping the homeless and wounded. They did this for six months.

They also supplied schools on a temporary basis during the earthquake that occurred in Pakistan.

They are also helping to make super schools which are based in Pakistan. These schools cost £100,000 each.

The Muslim Hands organization also has their own ambulances in Pakistan. These help the injured to get to hospital quickly.

They also have an orphan sponsorship program which helps orphan children to get educated and provide them with money for their family. They also then supply a worker for the family to look after their well-being.

Muslim Hands have also been working in Palestine. In these years rarely have they witnessed ordinary civilians suffering as much as they are now. In Gaza, Muslim Hands is working in Beit Hanoun, Beir Lahia and Jabliya camp handing out vital food supplies(including baby milk), tents and water shortage tanks.

Muslim Hands have constructed Model Schools in Quetta and Tobatek Singh and another is being built in Pakistan.

Excellence schools are being built in Peshawar, Wazirabad and Bagh, which is affected by the earthquake.

Muslim Hands also gives out small loans to poor unemployed people so they can start a small business and so that they and their families can earn a dignified income. The loans are small so they could be repaid easily. There is also no interest involved. If there is a business that is successful then Muslim Hands provide ongoing advice and support if required.

Muslim Hands work in the following countries:

Palestine, the Gambia, Iraq, Ethiopia, Lebanon, south Africa, Kashmir, Indonesia, Pakistan, Albania, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Sudan, Azerbaijan, India, china, Bangladesh, Mauritania, Senegal, Sri Lanka.

Muslim Hands ensures that the orphan is provided with:

School fees and travel costs

Clothing and footwear

Books and stationery

Money for the orphans family

Muslim Hand workers ensure the orphans well-being.

The following is the Muslim Hand financial situation:

General £509,675

Orphans £1,344,646

Education training £850,082

Medical £153,972

Engineering £2,234,834

Shelter £15,570

Food £226,803

Dawah gifts £400,992

Eid gifts £43,087

Children's fund £40,637

Elderly £360, 91

Allocated funds £1,541,915

Fundraising £595,203

TOTAL DONATIONS £7,690,544

GIFT AID RECIEVED £975,539

TOTAL INCOME FOR 2005 £8,066,083

Q.4 EVALUATION

"THERE SHOULD BE NO RICH PEOPLE AS LONG AS THERE IS POVERTY IN THE WORLD."

I disagree to the above statement.

Some people might agree to the statement and say that everyone should be equal. They would say that Allah is controlling everything and he should make all people of one standard. They also say that if every one was equal then there would be no pride, that some people will say to other people that I am richer than you. Also they would say that it is not fair on all the poor to live such a hard life while the rich are living in luxuries. They also say that if everyone was equal then there would be no jealousy and everyone would also be happy.

Some people might disagree and say that if everyone was equal then there would be no zakah to pay and that is compulsory. Also if everyone was equal then there would be not any people gaining the reward mentioned in the Quran for giving to the poor as there would be no poor then. Even if the rich do sacrifice their wealth poverty will still remain in the world and would not be diminished. Theses people also say that if everybody was equal then there would not be any spending on others and therefore the people would become stingy and not like spending on others.

I disagree to the statement because Allah says:

"This is because Allah has

Made some of you superior

Over others."

Then if people were equal it would go against the word of Allah. I also disagree that if everyone was equal then the people wouldn't need each other and therefore brotherhood would be wiped out of this world. Also because people should not argue with what Allah has done and they should not say that if everyone was equal then…..etc. And also Allah says that he tests us with the loss of wealth. And we can then see that if everyone was equal then there would be no test in the world.


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